Toronto stage

It’s been said basic human needs are universal but tell that to Amy Rutherford’s Carmen and Paul Braunstein’ Elliott.  The Tarragon Theatre presentation of ‘Infinity’ goes the distance in illustrating that we’re supposed to be here for a good time not a long time.

A TICK TALK THRILL

The striking anomaly about time is that no matter how hard we try to speed it up or slow it down, it never seems to alter the efficacious outcome we seek.  Hannah Mosovitch doesn’t set out to explore this specific phenomenon yet she relies on a bit of narrative time travel to research and evaluate the cause and effect of one family’s pursuit of normalcy.

And thanks to Ross Manson’s flirtation of visual aesthetics—a concave draped backdrop and sound barrier solutionist Andrea Tyniec on violin—he captures Infinity’s sequence of events in arousing intervals.

Emotional chaos is really what gives the play its anti-comforting foundation.  It’s almost as if the playwright purposely builds love, frustration and hopelessness into a complex equation to determine if the sum of its parts arrives at anything but tragedy and loss.  Add in an element of tick talk thrill about the construct of time or whether it’s real and even Albert Einstein would be calculating the dramatic events with glee.

If there’s a role model for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s Amy Rutherford’s Carmen.  Neither music, nor a husband or a baby can replace the lonliness that dominates her life yet she’s alert enough to avoid marital disaster.

You’ve seen Paul Braunstein in a variety of entertaining landscapes throughout the years but never one quite like his brainy as PhD candidate Elliot. The character hasn’t mastered the science of interpersonal communication with academia getting more of his allegiance than what’s reasonably acceptable.

Smack dab in the misery middle is Haley McGee’s Sarah Jane who tries to make sense of it all in a dark place where there’s little to be found.  An affair with her mathematics professor and an eventual connection with an out of reach love interest complicates her own personal evolution.  The fiery performer makes certain the character is viewed first and foremost as a survivor and rightfully so.

Infinity brilliantly counts down the days of our lives to suggest most of us can’t expect a perfect ending when there really is no such thing as a perfect beginning. Regardless of what tangible juncture in which you may find yourself, moving forward is by no means an option.

Review by Steven Berketo

INFINITY by Hannah Moscovitch March 27 – May 3, 2015 TARRAGON THEATRE, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto TICKETS $29.00 – $55.00 www.tarragontheatre.com 416-531-1827 CAST Paul Braunstein, Haley McGee, Amy Rutherford, Andrea Tyniec DIRECTOR Ross Manson COMPOSER Njo Kong Kie LIGHTING Rebecca Picherack CHOREOGRAPHY Kate Alton CONSULTANT Lee Smolin

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